Posts from ‘Mercury’
Merkur, if you recall the brand, was in many ways a marketing complement to General Motors’s Geo experiment.
There’s something to be said for people who go to Golden Corral specifically for the steak. Steak, it seems, means different things to many people. There’s the Ruth’s Chris steak, and there’s the buffet-style steak–as seen at restaurants such as Golden Corral. If you’re an average American, it’s likely you can’t afford to visit Ruth’s Chris on a weekly basis, no matter how good the dry-aged center-cut ribeye is.
Every summer, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association stages about 20 annual street rod and custom car events at fairgrounds and other large venues across the country. These are sprawling, weekend-long gatherings that include attractions such as swap meets, manufacturer midways, live music, autocross competitions, and plenty of on-premises cruising. They draw huge numbers of participant vehicles and spectators—the larger events regularly surpass 4000 registered show cars.
As we enter the age of autonomous vehicles filled with cloud-sourced entertainment and powered by solid-state batteries, it’s good to know that there are still a few relatively low-tech car features of genuine utility.
Ford is doing it right now with a subcompact crossover (EcoSport) imported from India. Cadillac did it with a German import badged on these shores as Catera. Honda did it with rebadged midsize SUV (Passport) that was actually built by Isuzu.
I graduated from high school in 1983. The third year of President Ronald Reagan’s first term was pretty good to me—I spent the summer working full time at a service station, I starting taking classes at a local junior college, and I spent a considerable amount of time looking at, reading about, and talking about cars.
by Don Sikora
Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Mercury, and the Grand Marquis, left the automotive scene in January 2011. That final Grand Marquis was a direct evolution of the 1979 Marquis built on the “Panther” platform that was Ford Motor Company’s response to General Motors’s downsized 1977 large cars. Consider for a moment that Panther’s run of 33 model years remarkably covered nearly half the history of Mercury itself. Over time exterior styling evolved but this body-on-frame Merc’s basic specifications remained amazingly consistent.
If you’re looking for proof that 1982 was a transitional year for the domestic auto industry, check out the dealer sales-training video for the then-new Chevrolet Cavalier below. It’s worth noting that Chevy’s cutting-edge front-drive subcompact car is being promoted with two-tone paint and white sidewall tires.
As far as recessions go, the economic dip of the early Eighties wasn’t much of a downturn. Apparently the Fed overdid it a bit, and tightened the money supply a bit more than banks and lenders liked.
The rollout of General Motors’ broad lineup of “X-Car” compact cars for 1980–which consisted of four separate vehicle lines spread across four brands–was a big event in the American automotive industry. Not surprisingly, GM backed up its ambitious new product initiative with a massive presence in TV and magazine advertising.